Itinerary (12 days program)

  • Day 1 (Havana): Meeting with Cuban bird guide, Ernesto Reyes, Depending on arrival time, afternoon visit with Orlando Garrido, greatly respected naturalist and author of the Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba for meaningful interaction about the protection of Cuban endangered and endemic species.
  • Day 2 (Havana/Viñales ): Early breakfast and check out, Breakfast and Departure to Viñales valley, the land of tobacco farms and beautiful landscapes with limestone formations called mogotes. Check-in at B&B. During the afternoon, birding and visit with Nils Navarro, an outstanding Cuban wildlife artist.
  • Day 3 (Viñales): Morning birding options nearby in pursuit of endemic Cuban Solitaire, Cuban Grassquit, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon, Cuban-Green Woodpecker, Yellow-headed Warbler. And some migrant species like warblers, tanagers and buntings.
  • Day 4 (Zapata): Breakfast. Departure to Zapata Swamp. Bird watching along the way. Check-in at Casa particular.
    Afternoon bird watching session in Los Hondones. Evening birdwatching for Stygian Owl, Bare-legged Owl and the Greater Antillean Nightjar.
  • Day 5 (Zapata): Early breakfast and departure for Bermejas (45 minutes) for study of birds in mixed forest habitat (flat, easy walking trail system 2+ miles). Excellent chance for Bee Hummingbird, Fernandina’s Flicker, Blue-headed Quail Dove, Grey-fronted Quail Dove, Key West and Ruddy Quail Dove, Cuban Parrot and the threatened Cuban Parakeet. Cuban Blackbird, Cuban Bullfinch, Loggerhead Kingbird, Bare-legged Owl and Cuban Pygmy Owl are also likely.
    Afternoon birding in the exquisitely beautiful Enigma de las Rocas Trail, with its “cenotes” (sink holes), where there is an excellent chance for the Key West Quail Dove, Western Spindalis, Cuban Bullfinch, Cuban Peewee, La Sagra’s Flycatcher, and Barn Owls.
  • Day 6 (Zapata): Breakfast and early departure for La Turba to look for the Red-shouldered Blackbird, Zapata Wren and Zapata Sparrow, among Cuba’s most limited range endemic birds. We should also see Cuban Vireo and Cuban Oriole. We also hope to spot the Red-legged Honeycreeper, Quail-Doves and others.
    Afternoon to Las Salinas Refuge (nearby flat, dry dirt roadway 1+ miles). Habitat is varied among low, dense forest, mangrove, marsh, and open wetlands. Here we are likely to encounter the endemic Cuban Black Hawk as well as numerous shorebirds a variety of ducks and American Flamingos.
  • Day 7 (Camaguey): Breakfast, check out and bus to Camaguey (6+ hours). Lunch along the way. Dinner and accommodation in B&B.
  • Day 8 (Camaguey): Early breakfast. Drive to Najasa to look for the Cuban Parakeet, Giant Kingbird, Cuban Palm Crow, Cuban Parrot and Plain Pigeons. Trails are mostly flat with some minor hills. Lunch in Najasa. Dinner at a 1830 restaurant.
  • Day 9 (Cayo Coco): Check out and drive northwest to Cayo Coco (4+ hours) in Cuba’s northern archipelago. Excellent bird observation. Check in. Possibly observe West Indian Whistling Duck. We are now in an area of Cuba that is being exploited for tourism and where the habitat of many important species is more and more fragile.
  • Day 10 (Cayo Coco): Morning bird study on Cayo Paredon Grande, Early morning search for Bahamas Mockingbird and observation of migratory species on Paredon Grande Key, the most northeastern key in the Coco Key archipelago, which is one of Cuba’s important migratory landfalls. Cuban Gnatcatcher, Oriente Warbler, Gundlach’s Hawk, Scaly–naped Pigeon, Thick-billed Vireo and possibly a subspecie of Zapata Sparrow are target birds for the archipelago. Lunch at the hotel. Afternoon spent spotting migratory birds on Guillermo Key mangrove flats, low coastal scrub and pristine white sand shoreline (roadside, flat walking).
  • Day 11(Havana): Breakfast and check out with opportunity for morning search for missed birds. Departure to Havana.
  • Day 12: Departure to your country.